Scaling DVD Player (DV137 or FMJ..) or seperate scaler (DVDO/Lumagen)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by thatMikeguy, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. thatMikeguy

    thatMikeguy
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    Hey all,
    I am very torn with the concept of a scaling DVD player. I am not very tempted by the DV137 as I don't think it can match the sound quality of the DV29. However, I might be interested in the new FMJ version. What I can not get around is whether or not I should even be considering this or whether I should be looking at a high-end scaler ie. Lumagen or DVDO? What are the benefits if any that the DVD player with a built in scaler offers? Keep in mind in comparison I would be pairing my DV29 which outputs a nice HDMI signals to a scaler? Please educate me.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  2. Ambo

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    Not sure how much HD TV content you already get in Canada, but I'd say scaler every time as you can scale all your SD sources (DVD, TV, games console etc) and the scaler should do a better job of deinterlacing than the DV137 (though I think both DV137 and DVDO iScan VP30 use ABT chips, albeit different). The scaler also allows you a lot more screen calibration than the screen can offer in isolation. Save the player upgrade until more HD source disks are available.

    Scaler also makes video switching very easy and you don't need to switch through the AV8 (so you don't need the AV9 upgrade for that) and the DVDO sorts out lip sync issues automatically too. I'm very pleased with my VP30 with ABT102 card.:smashin:
     
  3. thatMikeguy

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    Sad as it is the only 'cable' I watch is my beloved Ottawa Senators, the feed from these games is often so bad that it almost unwatchable, I don't think anything can save that. There are very few HD channels on cable or satellite here. Hence scaling would be good with the exception of my limited watching of TV other than DVD. My main issue is that the DV29 is superb (other than layer changes) and I find it hard to stretch for a new player when seemingly a scaler would be superior and be able to do other sources. I am just afraid that I am overlooking something. I should mention that I am not interested in SACD but would be in HDMI 1.3 etc.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  4. NonPayingMember

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    I'd definitely go for the scaler option. The DV29 can deliver interlaced HDMI as YUV 4:2:2 (a good thing!) to a Lumagen or DVDO VP30 or Crystalio II. While the film mode detection is pretty hot already, and the new fmj will use the ABT chip which is phenomenal with SD, you still gain other areas of improvement with the scaler: y/c adjustment, genlock, frame rate conversion (e,g, 48Hz for NTSC), precise grayscale, colour and gamma adjustment etc. So the picture would be better this way, but also you get to improve your other sources now and with HD later (Luma and Crystalio).
     
  5. thatMikeguy

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    Liam,
    Just a few quick questions for you.
    I live in jolly old Canada and hence I am not sure that I can use YUV etc. Is this true? My brain is saying I use RGB or component or something else. If this is the case can the DV29 still use this output when the scaler will have to convert to whatever Canadian format I use?
    What do you mean by film mode detection?
    Finally, as per Ambo above doesn't the DVDO that you mention the VP30 use the same ABT card as what is reported to be in the FMJ Arcam DVD?
    Thanks for the reply!
    M.
     
  6. NonPayingMember

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    YUV 4:2:0 is what exists on the DVD disc itself (YUV is component). For HDMI I believe it is upsampled to 4:2:2 and then sent out to a processor, IIRC the LUmagens and Crystalios can do this but the DVDO might only do RGB. Anyways, this is the method of least loss as the player is doing minimal conversion before it gets to the processor. So it is a form of component, and about the purest we can send between DVD and processor.

    Film Mode detection is the ability to detect that the material is a movie, and as such can be weaved at full resolution in the deinterlacing process. It's a complicated subject to understand, but essentially accurate film detection ensure the deinterlacing (conversion to progressive scan) is done at full resolution and without loss. This is only applicable to movies (i.e. stuff recorded on film cameras or in progressive HD cameras, regualr interlaced TV recordings are a totally different matter).

    The ABT102 card we believe will exist in the fmj and it does in the VP30. However my point was that this is just the deinterlacing step (which the ABT will do enormously well). The dedicated processor will go beyond this in what it can do to improve the image. I listed above a few of the things such as CUE filters, frame rate conversion for 48Hz output etc etc. A processor will act as your complete video solution giving you as well as the best PQ available, also a huge range of aspect ratio options, electronic masking for letterboxed material, multiple configuration profiles for 50/60Hz, or even multiple displays.

    Long story short. The new fmj with the ABT will deinterlace and scale as well as the DV29 using the same chip in the DVDO, but all the extra gubbins in the DVDO is what will make the picture ultimately better this way. Plus you will share all the same gains with your TV sources, VCR, LD, and any future HD formats.
     
  7. thatMikeguy

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    Ignorance is bliss. Thanks for the great response Liam. I think even I understand now, although I will have to check out he DVDO for YUV capability like you said. The retailers in my area seem to only carry the DVDO although I think you are a big proponent of the Lumagen. What is a comparable model? Thanks again. I wanted to thank your post but for some reason I didn't have the option.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  8. NonPayingMember

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    For an SD only solution I'm back to recommending DVDO so long as it's with the ABT card installed. SD video and film processing is fantastic, and equal to the Lumagen in film mode detection and scaling.

    However while the Lumagen loses a bit in video mode performance (odd jaggy for example) it also brings HD video and film mode deinterlacing to the party. So you have to consider what your needs are and which best fits. Equivalent Lumagen would be VisionHDQ I guess.

    Personally I use HD quite a bit, and intend to use more. So the Lumagen is best for my setup as I don't mind sit-coms and like suffering the odd jaggy it it means my HD is being deinterlaced at full resolution. Had I not been much of a movie watcher but more a sports TV man, it would be the DVDO for sure.

    Need to get above £3k before you have it all though!!
     
  9. thatMikeguy

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    Ouch... I am hard core movie watching guy on my DV29 and watch NHL hockey exclusively in regards to cable. I do love watching HD material when possible. Is the DVDO lacking the ability to deinterlace HD? Not sure I understand that but I'll do some homework. Is it really a trade off where DVDO is gold for SD and Lumagen for HD? That would make my decision really hard as obviously things are heading towards HD? Thanks again for all your help. Wish I lived in England so that I could make use of guys like you and Chris from Seven Oaks!
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  10. NonPayingMember

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    THe Lumagen and DVDO are both excellent SD Film deinterlacers. I've seen both of them pass tests the Crystalio II didn't - 1 in a thousand type stuff, but still shows how highly geared they are toward movie performance (the DVDO did need setting to FILM BIAS to pass).

    The DVDO will process video material that bit better though. i.e. SD sport, TV shows etc. The Lumagen isn't bad at all and still far better than the processing inside your TV, but if we're picking out things strictly this is where the Lumagen is not as strong. Jagged lines on football pitches are basically the artefact you will come accross.

    However the Lumagen is capable of it's same standard of excellent SD film processing, with HD films too. i.e. 1080i movies will be correctly deinterlaced to 1080p and then scaled to your screens native resolution. The DVDO would use a simple region based motion adaptive deinterlace. This means much resolution is thrown away and information interpolated - the DVDO this time will suffer the jaggies. Even on video HD material (e.g. HD sport or HD news - material that was recorded on a 1080i [not p] camera) the DVDO will suffer. The LUmagen is able to be as accurate to a single pixel in it's motion adaptive processing, far less jagged edges or patches of lost detail. The World Cup this summer was 1080i video, and my Lumagen and Humax boxed were knocking spots of every other system I used at the time (except the one or two Crystalio IIs that I had installed).

    It's not an easy decision. But the DVDO doesn't make the decision too difficult - it's the best SD processor available, but can only do SD. IF you want any amount of HD to be processed the best it can be for your budget, then you have to put the Lumagen back into play. You would be surprised how many people are best suited to the DVDO, but if the NHL is ever broadcast in HD then it's obviously Lumagen for you!
     

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